Saturday 16 September 2023 DAILY LECTIONARY

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Sat Sep 16 02:00:01 EDT 2023

Saturday 16 September 2023

Email Evangelism, forward to a friend:
1 Kings 18:41-19:8

Elijah said to Ahab, ‘Go up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of
rushing rain.’ So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. Elijah went up
to the top of Carmel; there he bowed himself down upon the earth and
put his face between his knees. He said to his servant, ‘Go up now,
look towards the sea.’ He went up and looked, and said, ‘There is
nothing.’ Then he said, ‘Go again seven times.’ At the seventh
time he said, ‘Look, a little cloud no bigger than a person’s hand
is rising out of the sea.’ Then he said, ‘Go and say to Ahab,
“Harness your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.” ’
In a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind; there
was heavy rain. Ahab rode off and went to Jezreel. But the hand of the
Lord was on Elijah; he girded up his loins and ran in front of Ahab to
the entrance of Jezreel.
Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all
the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah,
saying, ‘So may the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make
your life like the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.’ Then
he was afraid; he got up and fled for his life, and came to
Beer-sheba, which belongs to Judah; he left his servant there.

 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came
and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die:
‘It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better
than my ancestors.’ Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell
asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, ‘Get up and
eat.’ He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot
stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again. The
angel of the Lord came a second time, touched him, and said, ‘Get up
and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.’ He got up,
and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food for forty
days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God.
Philippians 3:17-4:7

I press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly* call of God
in Christ Jesus. Let those of us then who are mature be of the same
mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will
reveal to you. Only let us hold fast to what we have attained.

 Brothers and sisters,* join in imitating me, and observe those who
live according to the example you have in us. For many live as enemies
of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell
you even with tears. Their end is destruction; their god is the belly;
and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly
things. But our citizenship* is in heaven, and it is from there that
we are expecting a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform
the body of our humiliation* so that it may be conformed to the body
of his glory,* by the power that also enables him to make all things
subject to himself. Therefore, my brothers and sisters,* whom I love
and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my
 I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the
Lord. Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion,* help these women,
for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together
with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the
book of life.

 Rejoice* in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.* Let your
gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about
anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of
God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and
your minds in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 3:13-17
Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by
him. John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized
by you, and do you come to me?’ But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be
so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfil all
righteousness.’ Then he consented. And when Jesus had been baptized,
just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to
him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting
on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved,*
with whom I am well pleased.’
Morning Psalms: Psalm 55

Psalm 55

Give ear to my prayer, O God;
   do not hide yourself from my supplication. 
Attend to me, and answer me;
   I am troubled in my complaint.
I am distraught by the noise of the enemy,
   because of the clamour of the wicked.
For they bring* trouble upon me,
   and in anger they cherish enmity against me. 

My heart is in anguish within me,
   the terrors of death have fallen upon me. 
Fear and trembling come upon me,
   and horror overwhelms me. 
And I say, ‘O that I had wings like a dove!
   I would fly away and be at rest; 
truly, I would flee far away;
   I would lodge in the wilderness;
I would hurry to find a shelter for myself
   from the raging wind and tempest.’ 

Confuse, O Lord, confound their speech;
   for I see violence and strife in the city. 
Day and night they go around it
   on its walls,
and iniquity and trouble are within it; 
   ruin is in its midst;
oppression and fraud
   do not depart from its market-place. 

It is not enemies who taunt me—
   I could bear that;
it is not adversaries who deal insolently with me—
   I could hide from them. 
But it is you, my equal,
   my companion, my familiar friend, 
with whom I kept pleasant company;
   we walked in the house of God with the throng. 
Let death come upon them;
   let them go down alive to Sheol;
   for evil is in their homes and in their hearts. 

But I call upon God,
   and the Lord will save me. 
Evening and morning and at noon
   I utter my complaint and moan,
   and he will hear my voice. 
He will redeem me unharmed
   from the battle that I wage,
   for many are arrayed against me. 
God, who is enthroned from of old,
   will hear, and will humble them—
because they do not change,
   and do not fear God. 

My companion laid hands on a friend
   and violated a covenant with me* 
with speech smoother than butter,
   but with a heart set on war;
with words that were softer than oil,
   but in fact were drawn swords. 

Cast your burden* on the Lord,
   and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
   the righteous to be moved. 

But you, O God, will cast them down
   into the lowest pit;
the bloodthirsty and treacherous
   shall not live out half their days.
But I will trust in you.
Evening Psalms: Psalm 138, 139:1-23

Psalm 138

I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
   before the gods I sing your praise; 
I bow down towards your holy temple
   and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your
   for you have exalted your name and your word
   above everything.* 
On the day I called, you answered me,
   you increased my strength of soul.* 

All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord,
   for they have heard the words of your mouth. 
They shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
   for great is the glory of the Lord. 
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly;
   but the haughty he perceives from far away. 

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
   you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies;
you stretch out your hand,
   and your right hand delivers me. 
The Lord will fulfil his purpose for me;
   your steadfast love, O Lord, endures for ever.
   Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Psalm 139:1-23

O Lord, you have searched me and known me. 
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
   you discern my thoughts from far away. 
You search out my path and my lying down,
   and are acquainted with all my ways. 
Even before a word is on my tongue,
   O Lord, you know it completely. 
You hem me in, behind and before,
   and lay your hand upon me. 
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
   it is so high that I cannot attain it. 

Where can I go from your spirit?
   Or where can I flee from your presence? 
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
   if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. 
If I take the wings of the morning
   and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, 
even there your hand shall lead me,
   and your right hand shall hold me fast. 
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me,
   and the light around me become night’, 
even the darkness is not dark to you;
   the night is as bright as the day,
   for darkness is as light to you. 

For it was you who formed my inward parts;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
   Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well. 
   My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
   intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 
Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
   all the days that were formed for me,
   when none of them as yet existed. 
How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
   How vast is the sum of them! 
I try to count them—they are more than the sand;
   I come to the end*—I am still with you. 

O that you would kill the wicked, O God,
   and that the bloodthirsty would depart from me— 
those who speak of you maliciously,
   and lift themselves up against you for evil!* 
Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
   And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? 
I hate them with perfect hatred;
   I count them my enemies. 
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
   test me and know my thoughts. 
See if there is any wicked* way in me,
   and lead me in the way everlasting.

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